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November 28, 2012

Leaf Me Alone


I hate this time of the year.

More specifically, I hate leaves —dead ones — and I hate the fact that some people don't think they are an attractive addition to their yards.

Take Karen (please) — she thinks the leaves need to be raked and carted away. She thinks a Saturday afternoon in the yard will be a healthy activity for us — she will direct, and I will do the actual labor.

I agree that most people feel rejuvenated doing yard work on a brisk, sunny afternoon. They want to get out in the fresh air and enjoy Mother Nature.

Jeez, I used to love to do that, because there is nothing like working yourself into a sweaty lather, blood rushing to your face, sweat pouring out of every pore until your clothes are drenched with moisture. Yeah, that sure is fun. Unfortunately for me, I have a bad back.

I need to rest during the winter if I'm to be productive during the summer. Winter is heaven for me, especially during football season. Karen used to say football was like a drug to me, until I pointed out drugs are like a drug to me.

The only other chore that comes up with any regularity during the season is shoveling snow. Unfortunately, I can't shovel snow because I have a bad back. Every time it snows Karen rushes outside, in scarves and coats and gloves galore, straining her tiny body to remove the mountains of snow blocking our walkway and driveway lest I attempt to do it and hurt myself.

That's because I'm quick to point out should my back go out, I will be laid up for months, I will lose my job, we'll lose our house, they'll take back our trucks, and we'll end up living in a tent which I won't be able to help pitch because my back will hurt too much.

Karen loves to dance. When I was courting her I used to endure her passion but I eventually had to stop -- my back, you know. The truth is, I hate dancing, especially at weddings. There seems to be a universal practice at weddings, no matter what culture or country, that as the party progresses, drunk and drunker people feel compelled to make complete fools of themselves by doing the same asinine dances. You know the ones: the YMCA, when you have to spell out the letters with your arms, the Macarena, and of course the bunny hop thing where-in lines of people hop around the room holding on to each other's waist from behind like a gaggle of freakazoids.

There's always the serious woman who wants to make all the right moves (and probably practices at home), there's always the grandma who gets all confused, there's always a little snot-nosed kid trying to upstage everyone by running under your legs.

Everyone is laughing hysterically and acting like they are having fun or something (if in fact making the letter "Y" with your arms is funny) and no one minds when you almost trip on little Johnny (I used to try to step on his face).

Nowadays when we go to a wedding I sit back with a cocktail, which is good for my back, and smirk.

My little excuse comes in handy around the office too. We have a water cooler, which I use all day long, but I've never actually picked up one of those giant bottles and loaded it into the cooler. Instead, I watch interns who weigh about 82 pounds labor under the crushing load. Do I feel guilty? Not at all. I wish they would come over to the house and rake the leaves.

There is some strange duality that exists about leaves. On one hand, we rake, we blow, we bag, we do anything to get rid of them. On the other hand, thousands of people make the pilgrimage to New England every year to see the foliage, to gaze at the multi-color beauty created by Mother Nature.

My old girlfriend made me go to Maine once and it was the worst vacation of my life. Honestly, how many dead leaves do we need to gaze upon before we've had our fill? I can lie on the couch and see them flutter past the window, and that's good enough for me.

Either Karen is going to have to come to grips with the leaves in the yard or I will have to pay someone to get rid of them, as much as I'd like to do it myself. It's just that I have a bad back.

The truth is I hate to get out of bed in the morning. I feel lethargic all the time. For a long time I thought I was lazy, but now I realize the horrible truth. I have Lyme disease.

Think I'll take a long nap.

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